A massive snowstorm Monday hammered the Northeast and Southeast U.S. with up to 12 inches of accumulation in some areas, disrupting schools, traffic and businesses, including retail.
This story first appeared in the March 3, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The blizzard-like snow, along with wind gusts of up to 30 miles an hour, forced school closings on Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey and New York City, which hadn’t cancelled school due to the weather in five years. Long Island was one of the hardest areas hit, with up to 14 inches expected.
“One of the anchor stores did open late,” said Vincent Dantone, an assistant manager of the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City on Long Island. Nordstrom’s unit in the mall opened an hour late, at 11 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. The store expected to close at 9:30 p.m.
Employees of the J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s units at Roosevelt Field said the stores opened on time. Asked if Bloomingdale’s would remain open until the usual 9:30 p.m. close, an employee said, “At this point, yes.”
“Some of the stores closed early or will close early,” an employee of Roosevelt Field said on Monday afternoon.
Nordstrom stores in Natick and Burlington, Mass., and the Nordstrom Rack unit in Danvers, Mass., opened at noon, a spokeswoman said. A unit at the Short Pump Town Center in Richmond opened on time but closed early at 6 p.m., as did The Streets at Southpoint Nordstrom in Durham, N.C.
Americana Manhasset, an upscale outdoor shopping center, has a policy of keeping the center open if at all possible and takes a philosophical view of the weather. “We can only control the things we can control,” said Andrea Sanders, senior vice president and creative director. “We try to accommodate the stores as best we can. Being an outdoor center, we’re used to it. There are people shopping today, not that it’s going to be a busy day by any means. We’d certainly rather this happens on a Monday than a Saturday.”
Despite the snowstorm, Bloomingdale’s didn’t close any stores. “I’m surprised how clean some of the streets on the East Side looked this morning,” said Anne Keating, Bloomingdale’s spokeswoman. “It was easier to get around than you would have imagined in this type of weather.”
“None of our stores have been impacted by the storms,” said a spokesman for Target. “It’s business as usual.”
Wal-Mart said 10 of its stores from Virginia to the Northeast were impacted due to power outages and other operational issues. By Monday evening, only a unit in Richmond remained closed due to power outages, a spokeswoman said.
Westfield Garden State Plaza shopping center in Paramus, N.J., managed to open on time, at 10 a.m. An employee said the mall would close at 9:30 p.m. The Mall at Short Hills in Short Hills, N.J., avoided the worst of the storm. “We’re kind of in that middle band in terms of the weather,” said Michael McAvenue, general manager of the center. “We didn’t get as pounded as other parts of the state. We opened 100 percent on time. We’re looking at trying to stay open the rest of the evening. We had a good crowd in here.”